Albanese to take hard line on Moorebank


The chances of the Sydney Intermodal Terminal Alliance (Simta) gaining either total of preponderant control over the proposed intermodal hub at Moorebank look slim as federal Transport Minister Anthony Albanese prepares to bring funding arguments into the Budget process. Qube Logistics, which bought out partner Stockland’s 55 percent stake in Simta for $123 million mid-month, has publically spruiked its claim for the full project.

By Rob McKay | March 26, 2012

The chances of the Sydney Intermodal Terminal Alliance (Simta) gaining either total of preponderant control over the proposed intermodal hub at Moorebank look slim as federal Transport Minister Anthony Albanese prepares to bring funding arguments into the Budget process.

Qube Logistics, which bought out partner Stockland’s 55 percent stake in Simta for $123 million mid-month, has publically spruiked its claim for the full project.

It is believed Albanese will argue that the option Simta presents is too small and too focused on Qube.

Simta had bought and leased back to the Department of Defence’s National Storage and Distribution Centre 83 hectares, on which the Centre has two options to extend.

The Department of Transport’s preferred Moorebank Intermodal Transport (MIT) proposal is based on an adjacent 220 ha of Defence land hosting the School of Military Engineering.

Qube has voiced frustration at the lack of Transport backing for Simta, saying MIT will cost $1bn in public money while Simta would be funded privately.

Albanese’s office is sticking to its line.

"A business case has now been finalised and will be considered by the Government in the lead up to this year’s Federal Budget," was all it was prepared to say today.

But it is understood Transport will argue that the Simta option will be unable to handle interstate trains, would not cover costs related to connecting road and rail infrastructure or the shifting of Defence assets and would not be quick to set up.

Sources familiar with the issues have not ruled out Simta and MIT developing together but much depends on what resources Defence gains to allow that to happen.

The departments of Defence and Transport have been negotiating for several years over vacating land to set up an intermodal hub at Moorebank and frustration at the length of the process surfaced last year.

You can also follow our updates by joining our LinkedIn group or liking us on Facebook